Thursday, March 28, 2013

NCAA: Point guards on parade in Norfolk

Skylar Diggins
Who's the best point guard coming to town Easter Sunday for the NCAA's Norfolk Regional at Old Dominion University's Constant Center?

The answer may not be as clear-cut as you think.

Lindsey Moore
Of course, everyone knows about Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins, the sport's tough-as-nails "it" girl/UConn killer who has led the Fighting Irish to back-to-back NCAA title games. But what about Nebraska's Lindsey Moore, the 5-9 consummate pass-first point guard and ex-high school teammate of Courtney Vandersloot who has developed into a go-to scorer as well? Or Kansas' Angel Goodrich, the pocket-sized (5-4) Cherokee Nation citizen who has overcome two ACL surgeries and has saved her best for NCAA play the past two seasons?

And then there's Duke, which is so loaded it has two point princesses. Blue Devils star Chelsea Gray was a serious candidate for ACC Player of the Year honors before a dislocated kneecap ended her season. The Blue Devils inserted freshman Alexis Jones, a smooth lefty, into the floor general's role. And two weeks ago, North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell argued that Duke was a better team with Jones running the show instead of Gray. Hyperbole? Perhaps. But there's no question Jones looks like the real deal.

Last Sunday, the Duke rookie marked her NCAA Tournament debut by flirting with a triple-double before
Angel Goodrich
"settling" for 11 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds against Hampton, which came in with Division I's best defense.

Meanwhile, Goodrich averaged 17 points and 9 assists in NCAA victories over Colorado and South Carolina to book a Sweet 16 appearance. Moore carved up Texas A&M to the tune of 20 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds while playing all 40 minutes to advance to Norfolk.

And Diggins has been, well, Diggins in directing the 33-1 Fighting Irish to the Sweet 16 yet again.

Diggins. Moore. Goodrich. Jones. A veritable point guard paradise this Sunday at the Constant Center.

Pass the rock, and enjoy the show.

Tournament schedule
Sunday, March 31
No. 1 Notre Dame (33-1) vs. No. 12 Kansas (20-13), 12:04 p.m.
No. 2 Duke (32-2) vs. No. 6 Nebraska (25-8), 2:32 p.m.
Tuesday, April 2
Regional final, 7 p.m.

Statistics don't tell the whole story, but here's a look at some of the key numbers for the four point guards in action this weekend (Jones' stats are for her nine games as Duke's starting point guard).

Alexis Jones (left)
Assists per game
Angel Goodrich - 7.0
Alexis Jones - 6.4
Skylar Diggins - 5.9
Lindsey Moore - 5.7

Lindsey Moore - 2.51
Angel Goodrich - 3.60
Skylar Diggins - 3.61
Alexis Jones - 4.0

Assist-turnover ratio
Lindsey Moore - 2.17
Angel Goodrich - 1.95
Skylar Diggins - 1.62
Alexis Jones - 1.61

Skylar Diggins - 3.0
Angel Goodrich - 2.85
Lindsey Moore - 1.81
Alexis Jones - 1.33

Skylar Diggins - 16.8
Lindsey Moore - 15.2
Angel Goodrich - 14.4
Alexis Jones - 14.3

Free throw percentage
Skylar Diggins - 82.1
Lindsey Moore - 80.7
Alexis Jones - 76.7
Angel Goodrich - 73.3

Field goal percentage
Lindsey Moore - 47.8
Skylar Diggins - 41.9
Alexis Jones - 41.7
Angel Goodrich - 36.7

3-point percentage
Alexis Jones - 41.6
Lindsey Moore - 34.5
Skylar Diggins - 34.5
Angel Goodrich - 32.0

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